Local visibility on the Internet was once considered a “nice-to-have” marketing strategy for local companies.
Local businesses that do not invest in online visibility may be left behind by Google-recommended service providers. This makes it an “absolute must-have” for all local companies.
Because customers are now searching online for local service providers. Social Media Today reported that 97% of Google users searched for local businesses to find in 2019.
It isn’t too late to start reaping all the benefits local SEO has to offer.
This article will cover the basics of local SEO, its importance, and the five pillars for local visibility that can help your site attract more visitors and customers.
What is Local SEO? And why do you need it?
Local SEO (search engine optimization) can be a marketing strategy that will help your business appear on Google’s local search results.
This is an example of what I might get if you search for “local landscaping firms near me”.
Based on my results, I’ll pick one of these businesses and visit their site or call to use their services.
Just like that, they have a new customer.
That is the power behind local SEO.
Local SEO is a way to get more customers, sales, and can even help your business.
- Trust your customers
- Improve your online presence.
- You can build authority within your industry
- Advertising can be reduced by reducing the amount of money spent
- Your efforts will bring you more and better reviews
- Increase your number of repeat customers
- Get a better ROI
5 pillars of local visibility
These are the steps you should take to increase your business’s visibility in the local area.
Pillar 1: Google My Business
Google is the leading search engine, accounting for 83% for the global market. This makes it logical to put all your effort here.
You should first create a Google My Business page (GMB). This page acts like a Google directory for your business. Google will use the data on this page to show you business in local searches.
To set up this page, head to https://business.google.com/create and follow the steps.
Once you have created your profile, add all pertinent information such as contact details, images, list of services, description, logo, and more.
It is also important to carry out a variety of weekly activities to improve the visibility of your listing so that Google sends you more customers.
Pillar 2: NAP
NAP is the other pillar of local SEO. You don’t need a pillow to rest your head…
NAP means “Name, Address and Phone Number“.
Your NAP information must remain consistent when marketing online. This includes your site, Google My Business, social media profiles, and any other sites that might include your business details.
NAP not only makes Google more trusting (and increases your online visibility), it also improves the user experience for your customers by allowing them easy access to your website and contact information.
Pillar 3. Citations
Citations refer to online mentions of the NAP details for your business. These include both:
- Full citations are where ALL of the information, including your name, address, and number (NAP), can be found.
- Partially Cited: This is where only a fraction of your NAP information can be mentioned. If your business name and your location are mentioned, but you don’t have your phone number, it could be that your phone number is missing.
Both of these are citations that will help your site in local SEO. Google considers full-citations more valuable.
Google will recognize your business as trustworthy if there are more citations.
These citations will also appear on the Internet. Your company information is more important than ever to increase traffic to your website.
Pillar 4: Reviews
Did you know that nine out of ten customers in the world read reviews before purchasing products?
Reviews have become an important part of customers’ buying decisions as more and more local businesses put effort into marketing.
You can increase the likelihood of customers clicking on your site over those of your competitors by getting more reviews (preferably 5-star ratings).
Google users can leave reviews in one of two ways:
- One star rating
- A testimonial with a star rating
While the first will increase your average ranking, the second will also improve it and make your listing more prominent for the relevant keywords.
Pillar 5: Website Content
Local SEO’s last pillar is your site’s content. This includes:
- Google requires a full list of all services that you offer so that it knows what type of customers and services they are offering.
- Customer testimonials with details of the customer including name, location and mention of service.
- Highlighted projects that include before and after photos. These pictures will show customers what to expect when working with you. This will position you as an expert in your field and encourage customers to choose you instead of other companies.
- Google can identify your service area and send you customers who live nearby.
- A helpful content that provides information about your services. A good example is the article “5 Things To Keep in mind When Choosing Paint to Cover Your Roof”. This article will prove to be very beneficial for the reader and help them build trust in you.
- You will have an FAQ section in which you answer most customers’ questions about services and your process.
The more helpful and relevant content that you include, the greater.
This is what I mean.
Imagine two plumbing businesses having their own websites. Let’s just call them Joe’s Plumbers and Pro Plumbing.
- Joe’s Plumbers isn’t able to provide a complete list, testimonials, FAQs, and other helpful content.
- Pro Plumbing on the other side has all of this information on its website.
Which business do you believe Google will bring more customers to?
The answer is Pro Plumbers
Are you interested in gaining more local customers
Google will show your business more frequently if you include the five pillars that support local visibility in your SEO strategy. What does all this mean?
Customers who are actively looking to find your services will call you more often.
Check out “How local businesses receive 40+ phonecalls every month from Google” for more information about the 5 pillars.
If you incorporate all five pillars for local visibility into your SEO strategy, you will see your business appear in more local searches. This will result in higher website traffic and greater sales.